Tube and Pipe Tooling Materials

Producers of tube, pipe, and roll formed products are always looking for tooling materials that will give them the best results for the lowest cost.

Roll-Kraft has compiled a list of materials that are available today, along with where these materials are best suited for use on your mills. Please note that the list gives limited examples of locations on the mill that we believe the material is most commonly used. Please contact Roll-Kraft, so we can fully understand your expectations and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using some of these unique materials.

A common misconception in the industry is that specific materials can solve specific problems. That can be true to a certain extent, but you need to be sure that your tooling supplier is asking the right questions and understands your expectations.

For instance, the definition of a “mark-free” product varies from producer to producer. If you are looking for a mark-free product, we ask to see a sample in order to understand your expectations. The current tooling material may be ideal, but mills that are set up incorrectly or misaligned can sometimes lead to product marking. The last thing we want to do is provide you with a very expensive material that you don’t actually need.

Most importantly, if the material is to be heat-treated, you must be certain it is done properly. The most expensive materials available today will not perform any better than the least expensive materials if they are heat treated improperly. Decreasing the duration of heat treatment is a way that tooling suppliers can cut corners and ultimately sell you less expensive tooling. If heat treating companies do not treat the material at their facility for the proper amount of time, it is less costly to them, which is less costly to the roll supplier. It is imperative that your tube, pipe, and roll form tooling is heat-treated properly.

Below is an extensive list of materials for roll tooling.

D2 - The most commonly used material for tube and pipe tooling

  • This is the best value material with high carbon, high chrome content, for excellent abrasion resistance and toughness
  • Used in most areas of the mill, except for certain weld rolls

D4 / D5 / D6 - Choose higher grades of the D series for improved abrasion resistance compared to D2

  • Same as above, just not as readily available, which means will be more expensive, as well

M2 - A high-speed steel with more abrasion resistance than D2

  • Good for forming very abrasive materials
  • Works well in high-temperature areas of the mill (such as weld rolls), but can also be used in other areas of the mill

M4 - Same as M2, except even higher quality material

DC53 - Another high-speed steel that is more wear and impact resistant than D2

  • Mainly used for sizing rolls, fin pass rolls, and weld rolls

REX 86 - A high-alloy material that has great wear characteristics, when used with certain materials

  • The hardness can reach 67-69 Rockwell “C” hardness
  • Mainly used when forming high-nickel material

REX 20 – Cobalt-free material with great toughness and wear resistance

  • Used for breakdown rolls, fin pass rolls, sizing rolls, and side rolls

Maxamet – Similar to REX 86, but with 68-70 Rockwell “C” hardness

O1 – Oil hardened with lower carbon and good toughness

  • Used in the past for most rolls, due to ease of machining

A2 – 5% chrome for good abrasion properties and toughness

  • Used as a tougher substitute for D2 and cutoff jaws

S6 – General purpose tool steel with high strength and good toughness

S7 – High shock resistance, good strength, and ductility for cold and moderately high temperatures. Suitable for cold-work or hot-work applications less than 1,000 degrees

H13 – Good for hot work; good balance of toughness and heat check resistance

  • The best value material for weld rolls

H10 – Contains molybdenum for increased strength and wear properties, compared to H13

  • Used for weld rolls

L6 – General purpose tool steel with high strength and good toughness

CPM RexT-15 – Super high-speed steel with high vanadium content for excellent wear resistance, and cobalt for good red hardness

CPM 9V – Lower carbide and vanadium content than CPM10V

  • Improved toughness and heat check resistance
  • Used for weld rolls

CPM 10V – Has a higher vanadium content for more wear resistance than D2

  • Can be used in all areas of the mill, but the best results are in the sizing section for at least 1.5 to 2 times more life than D2

CPM 15V – More vanadium than CPM10V for even greater wear resistance

  • Same uses as CPM 10V

CRU-WEAR – Has less chrome and carbon than D2, but contains more vanadium and tungsten

  • Tougher than D2 with similar wear
  • Can be used anywhere that impact resistance is an issue

Stainless steel – Has non-magnetic properties and non-marking in certain applications

  • Used for weld rolls

Durabar – Cast iron

  • Good impact resistance
  • Does not wear as long as tool steels, but is a less expensive option in some cases

Meehanite – Cast iron

  • Good toughness with fair wear
  • Has self-lubricating properties
  • Same uses as Durabar, but also used for weld rolls in tig welding to eliminate copper contamination

Aluminum Bronze 18 / 21 / 45 – Non-magnetic and non-marking

  • Relatively soft
  • Used throughout the mill in areas where roll marking would yield an unacceptable final product

Aluminum Bronze 25 – Hardest of the bronzes for greatest life

  • Used mainly for weld rolls, but can be used throughout the mill in areas where roll marking would yield an unacceptable final product

Formamet – Similar to Ampco but with a finer grain structure for increased wear resistance 

  • Same uses as Aluminum Bronze 25

Carbide 6% Cobalt – Very hard for extreme abrasion resistance

  • Normally used in sizing rolls only
  • Very little impact resistance

Carbide 15% Cobalt – More binder than 6% Cobalt for increased toughness

  • Used for breakdowns rolls, fin pass rolls, sizing rolls, side rolls, and turkhead rolls

Carbide 12% Nickel – The nickel binder is more resistant to chemicals than cobalt

  • Can survive in a wide range of chemistries
  • Used for breakdowns rolls, fin pass roll, sizing rolls, side rolls, and turkhead rolls
  • A non-magnetic grade is used for weld rolls

Carbide 23% Nickel – More binder for increased impact resistance, but less wear resistance

  • Can be used in any area that 15% cobalt and 12% nickel is used

Rene 95 – Superalloy for high strength, with high nickel content for excellent wear and heat resistance

  • Used for weld rolls

Nylon – Used to form very soft materials that would mark using another tool steel

  • Used for breakdowns rolls, fin pass roll, sizing rolls, and side rolls
  • Mainly used to form aluminum products but is also used to form some stainless steel products as well

Urethane – Same as nylon, but with increased wear resistance

  • Same uses as nylon

PC Plastic – Same as nylon

  • Same uses as nylon

Rubber – Excellent grip characteristics

  • Used for pull-out rolls, as well as in louvered tube applications

Ceramic – Non-magnetic material with extreme wear characteristics

  • Used for weld rolls
  • D2
  • Nylon
  • Ceramic
  • Urethane
  • Ampco
  • Carbide
  • H-13 with Ceramic coating and Nylon inserts
    H-13 with Ceramic coating and Nylon inserts


On-Time Delivery


First Time Performance

Still Searching For Answers?

Roll over to our Worlds Leading Resource Center

Search our Resources

No One Else Does What We Do

Roll form tooling tested at our facility or yours

Illustration of three linked gears small medium and large. Learn More

Detailed setup package & technician's testing remarks

Illustration of a piece of paper with lines on it to indicate writing. Learn More

Tooling drawing fully detailed

Illustration of a pencil. Learn More

Technicians available to troubleshoot at your facility

Illustration of a technician bust wearing a hat with with a wrench below the technician. Learn More

Tooling shipped in foam-filled wooden crates

Illustration of a box with all 4 top flaps open. Learn More

If it's not right, we'll make it right. Guaranteed.

Time to Roll Profits!

Have a technical question?

Need a quote from one of our performance specialists?

Simply contact us here or call and get answers 24/7.

Contact Us (888) 953-9400

Roll-Kraft Hosts Latest Live Tube and Pipe Training Seminar

Roll-Kraft’s latest tube and pipe mill training seminar was held on October 24, 2023 at the Waverly, Nebraska Venue location.

➤ Read More

Live Tube and Pipe Seminar - October 24th

Mill operators, maintenance supervisors, engineers, tool room personnel and management will all benefit from the program by learning new skills & produce a better quality product in less time.

➤ Read More

Roll-Kraft announces the Semi-retirement of Robert A. Sladky, Vice President of Tube Mill Engineering 

Robert's extensive expertise in the tubing industry spans over five decades, including 33 years of service at Roll-Kraft.

➤ Read More